CHEEK Cele’s the champ, fin­ish and klaar

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS - Den­nis Pather

IF a poll were to be held to­day, who do you think would emerge the coun­try’s most favoured politi­cian? I would guess Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa would fea­ture as a strong can­di­date for bring­ing re­newed hope to the coun­try in his first 100 days in of­fice.

Other con­tenders could in­clude head­line-grab­bing Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille for her stout-hearted fight against the DA, Pravin Gord­han for his ef­forts to clean up state en­ter­prises or even fire­brand EFF leader Julius Malema for putting land re­form in the spotlight.

But they’re all run­ning for sec­ond place in the pop­u­lar­ity stakes be­cause the undis­puted peo­ple’s cham­pion this week is none other than the dandy, toughtalk­ing po­lice min­is­ter Bheki

Cele – not nec­es­sar­ily for any con­crete achieve­ment on his part but be­cause most South Africans des­per­ately want to see him suc­ceed in his job.

South Africans are gatvol of crime – al­most daily re­ports of fa­tal hi­jack­ings, home in­va­sions and vi­o­lent cash-in-tran­sit heists and rob­beries. Peo­ple are on the verge of de­spair over law­less­ness and crim­i­nal be­hav­iour in their neigh­bour­hoods.

So when a tough-talk­ing, no-non­sense sher­iff comes rid­ing into town with guns blaz­ing, the towns­folk wel­come him with open arms. When some­one like Cele doffs his trade­mark fe­dora hat as he en­ters the home of a crime vic­tim, reaches out to mourn­ing rel­a­tives and friends and shares in their grief, his em­pa­thy helps ease the pain they’re go­ing through.

When he vows to launch a na­tion­wide clam­p­down on vi­o­lent crime, promis­ing to do all in his power to put more boots on the ground and in­crease po­lice vis­i­bil­ity on our streets, that’s like mu­sic to peo­ple’s ears.

When he commits to a plan to es­tab­lish a team to go af­ter known, wanted crim­i­nals and in­crease po­lice re­sources to en­sure quicker re­sponse times to re­ports of crimes, they ap­plaud en­thu­si­as­ti­cally.

When he tells or­di­nary South Africans, he’s go­ing to ex­pose po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved in crime, they are filled with hope.

Be­cause hope is what peo­ple are cling­ing to in these des­per­ate times.

Cele’s no an­gel, hav­ing blot­ted his copy book over his role in a mul­ti­mil­lion-rand con­tract for po­lice ac­com­mo­da­tion in his pre­vi­ous stint as com­mis­sioner.

Other crit­ics are wor­ried his much-vaunted crime pre­ven­tion plan may just be po­lit­i­cal noise, not un­like the blus­ter of his pre­de­ces­sor Fik­ile “Razzmatazz” Mbalula.

But peo­ple are so des­per­ate for him to suc­ceed they’re pre­pared to over­look pre­vi­ous aber­ra­tions. They just want an end to crime and Cele’s their man, fin­ish and klaar.


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